Sunday, February 8, 2009

After Many Springs

Last weekend, we were drawn to visit Des Moines Art Center as the famous painting of Iowa's native Grant Wood (1891-1942) is on display. The painting was titled American Gothic which is owned by Art Institute of Chicago. It is part of exhibition portraying Midwestern Modern Regional Paintings. The exhibition runs from January 30 to March 29. Admission is free. It was my first time to visit the Des Moines Art Center and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of permanent collections that they have. I am not expecting it for a city the size of Des Moines. Anyway, the paintings, photographs and documentary films on display for the exhibition portrayed life in the Midwestern United States during the Depression. It is eerie due to the fact that we are again in the midst of unprecedented economic crisis. The exhibit continues to be relevant for the present day.
The three painters that I was drawn to were Grant Wood (of course), Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry. They were the most influential painters of their time. They are hailed Midwestern Triumvirate of American Regionalism. They were critics of abstract expressionism. I, personally, prefer realism painting because I am impressed by the details of the work.
John Steaurt Curry (1897-1946) Tornado Over Kansas, 1929, oil on canvas
Muskegon Museum of Art

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)

Cradling Wheat, 1938

Saint Louis Art Museum

Grant Wood, The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, 1931

Des Moines Art Center


Makis said...

Grant Wood's paintings are great! I don't know why I have been associating his American Gothic painting to horror movies though. I should also try to appreciate Art more. There are hundreds of galleries here in France & there's just one 10kms away on Proven├žal paintings. I guess it's just not my bowl of rice :)

malor said...

hi makis, art is not my cup-of-tea as well. however, we went to see it because it was just borrowed from art institute of chicago and we don't know when it will come back again in des moines. anyway, i think it is associated with horror stuff because of the word "gothic" which actually refer to the style of the house in the background. i did not know about it too. i thought american gothic means being trapped to working non-stop to get the american dream. anyway, art galleries actually make me exhausted. my brain just cannot handle too much of it. but nice to add some culture in my life.

joanne said...

Hi Loraine,
Happy Easter to you too:)

I hope you and your husband are doing well. We're all fine here (although I'm in a very lazy blogging mood lately).